Success StorySmall Kitchen Equipment

Small Kitchen Equipment

Author: Kathy Byrnes

Planning Unit: Kenton County CES

Major Program: Food Preparation and Preservation

Plan of Work: 2021 Financial Education, Developing Human Capital, Real Skills for Everyday Life

Outcome: Intermediate Outcome

According to marketing research firm Modor Intelligence, the Unites States small kitchen appliance market is witnessing huge growth, innovation and consumer engagement. Consumer buying patterns include growth in the percentage of buyers purchasing housewares online. In addition, the trend of small kitchen appliances is gaining momentum among millennials, as they look for small space appliances that use less energy and are useful in smaller homes. Earlier research from Utah State University found that appliances that the owner has adequate knowledge will be used more often than those which they know little. All of these circumstances create opportunities for Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension to educate consumers on proper and efficient use of these appliances.

Helping adult residents learn about four of these small appliances was the focus of a small, on-line equipment series held by the Kenton and Boone County Cooperative Extension offices, “Small Kitchen Equipment.” Appliances/equipment covered included: cast iron, food processors, slow cookers, and induction heating units. 46 men and women attended one or more of these sessions.

The Kenton County FCS agent taught the sessions on “Getting the Most from a Food Processor” and “Slow Cooking in a Fast Paced World”.  An on-line survey was conducted 3 months after the series and yielded the following results on these two topics:

100% reported learning that slow cook liners are made of food-grade nylon, and not plastic, as many feared.
76% reported trying new techniques or recipes, including using food processor to shred vegetables and cheese, make sauces and dressings, and make entrees in the slow cooker while not heating up their kitchen.
69% learned to not use frozen foods in a slow cooker and to not fill their slow cooker for safe use.
54% reported using their food processor more since attending.
46% reported learning additional important food safety techniques with their slow cooker, including how to safely use slow cookers for heating leftovers.

 One participant reported moving their food processor to the countertop for ease of use, while another learned the slow cooker they currently own is sufficient. This is important, as saving the consumer money is another goal of education. As a result of the program, a “Food Processor Meals” program has been scheduled for fall of 2020. The evaluations also yielded suggestions for additional small kitchen appliances to be featured in future classes.

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